The West of England is a leading insurance provider to the global maritime industry, combining financial strength with outstanding service to help its Members meet the continually evolving liability environment in which shipowners, operators and charterers operate.
Originally formed by the Holman shipowning family in the port of Topsham in the south west of England, the Club has served shipowners for 150 years and was one of the first to insure international tonnage. Today we provide third party liability coverage to over 3,700 ships of more than 93 million GT from a worldwide membership, with a further 27 million GT of chartered tonnage.
Both the Club and its Managers are authorised by the Commissariat aux Assurances in Luxembourg. The management company is wholly owned by the Club and the absence of any requirement to satisfy outside shareholder interests ensures that the interests of the Club and its managers are fully aligned.
The Club is rated A- (strong) with a stable outlook by Standard & Poor's and has strong levels of capitalisation, with capital adequacy well in excess of AAA rating.
We aim to develop a sound understanding of our Members’ businesses and commercial objectives and to build long term relationships where service is a key component. Our network of regional service centres in London, Piraeus, Hong Kong, Singapore and New York provide help and support to our Members in everything they do.
We provide a broad range of complementary insurance products which can be tailored to meet a Member’s individual requirements. Details of all our products can be found here.
The Club is one of the thirteen Clubs which comprise the International Group of P&I Clubs (IG) and who collectively insure the liabilities of around 90% of the world’s ocean trading tonnage. This enables us to provide limits of cover for P&I liabilities unmatched outside the IG Clubs.
Although the Clubs individually compete for business, they also come together in the IG for the purposes of sharing larger claims through pooling and a collective reinsurance purchase, to represent the views of shipowners on relevant topics and to share the experience and expertise of individual Clubs for the wider benefit of the shipping industry.
Our service ethos
The core of our approach is a close personal relationship with each Member. We believe that a detailed knowledge and understanding of a Member’s operating environment is the key to resolving their problems and meeting their needs.
Our claims teams – with staff from a variety of legal and commercial backgrounds and all with significant experience of P&I and Defence matters – work closely with our Members to manage their claims exposure, from the smallest crew injury to major casualties. They also provide advisory services to help Members in preventing claims and on practical, legal and contractual measures which may reduce or limit exposure should an incident occur.
Effective underwriting equally requires a trusted partnership with Members. Our objective is to treat all Members fairly, on the basis of a sound knowledge of their business and understanding the risks they face to offer competitive rates and develop long-term working relationships. We maintain a close dialogue with Members throughout the year to ensure that cover continues to meet every Members’ particular requirements and advise on insurance solutions.
Loss Prevention is a vital part of the business, not only assisting Members by providing bespoke advice and information on a wide range of topics but also working alongside our underwriters to ensure that fleets seeking entry into the Club meet our quality standards for both the vessels themselves and the owner’s operations.
Our business is to take care of marine liability risks for shipowners, charterers and operators. We believe that protection for our Members is as important as the indemnity insurance we provide. To deliver both we are responsive to our Members’ needs and proactive in looking after their interests to enable them to achieve their business goals.